The park is up in the mountains, just over the hill from Sun Moon Lake, it's a beautiful place for a theme park and it was really nice to get out of the city for the day. Here is a map I got from their website:
It's a bizarre mixture of an aboriginal culture center and amusement park.
The aboriginal culture part of the park is all the way up at the top, in the middle is the amusement park and then down there at the bottom is the European Palace Garden and "Ritz Palace." It's really a one-stop-shop for all of your educational and entertainment needs! (because you can't have entertainment without education ;-)
Upon entering the park, in front of us was a traditional aboriginal dance (for the day's opening ceremony):
And behind us was this indigenous architectural gem:
Ok well, I guess they wanted to put the "Cool" stuff near the entrance of the park. Based on this picture, I guess I don't have to tell you that this place was built in the 1980's!
Immediately following the opening traditional dance, some aboriginal ballerina's came onto the stage wearing traditional aboriginal sequins:
The performance was great, so I took a video of it to share it with you all (if you listen closely you can hear that the song actually has the family friendly lyric "touch me, feel me"!)
After the opening ceremonies, we decided to head up to the top of the park and work our way down, so we spent the first half of our day learning about Taiwanese aboriginal culture. I have to say it was surprising to us, but there were actually a lot of cool things to see and we spent a good three hours exploring.
This section consists of a lot of aboriginal houses and buildings that have been transplanted to the park.
This is a Paiwan house from the SouBau village:
There were lots of places with thatch roofs, but I guess the upkeep for those is difficult because I noticed that the park opted for a synthetic version instead: painted metal
The red bean ice though, was a nice dessert and was in an awesome container as well:
One of the things I was most looking forward to was the pottery center; for just $50NT (less than $2 US) we got to make our own bowls or cups on a pottery wheel! I LOVE crafts, so I was all about this. Just as we were sitting down to begin though, we noticed that someone else was already occupying the pottery wheel:
After I finished my bowl, they guy who worked there sat down to finish it off and remove it from the wheel... or at least I thought that was what he was doing, until he just smashed the whole thing down and RE-MADE IT!
WHyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!? Needless to say, I was a bit perturbed...
However, as a result, my bowl looked like this:
Our next stop was to try our hand at making millet wine:
It clearly hasn't been distilled and was a bit gritty and tart, but Nick seemed to like it! (not surprisingly)
Once the wine was all sealed up and ready to go, the lady informed us that we owed $200NT! A detail that it would have been nice to know beforehand... but o well!
This concluded our cultural exploration for the day, and so it was off to the amusement park to check out the rides! But I think I'll leave that for another post!